October 17, 2019
(As prepared for delivery)
I am pleased to join Ambassador Varricchio today in giving you a warm welcome to this fantastic event.
Allow me to take a moment to recognize Foreign Minister Di Maio and Economy and Finance Minister Gualtieri. Ministers: Benvenuti once again to the United States. I trust your meetings in Washington have been productive, and I wish you much continued success for the remainder of your visit.
Let me also thank Domenico Siniscalco for his tremendous leadership of the U.S.-Italy Council. The Council has been, and continues to be, a highly valuable asset to the bilateral relationship between our two countries.
Today you will hear from many great speakers, including Ambassador Phil Reeker, who leads the European Affairs Bureau at the Department of State and was, as you know, the former Consul General in Milan.
Having both lived in the Bel Paese, Ambassador Reeker and I share a deep appreciation for Italy and its people.
I have now begun my third year as the U.S. Ambassador, and I can honestly say it’s been an honor and a privilege to work with the Italian government on a broad range of issues for the mutual benefit of our citizens.
In particular, it has been my distinct honor to work with President Sergio Mattarella, a great statesman, whom I was pleased to welcome to our nation’s capital this week.
Like President Trump, President Mattarella believes security and prosperity are imperative to our countries, but nothing is more important to our people than preserving freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
These shared values are what make the U.S.-Italy relationship so special. And while today’s speakers may not agree on everything, I know they will agree on one thing: the U.S.-Italy relationship is strong, and together, we can make it stronger.
Thank you for being here. And benvenuti once again!